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TVS plans India's cheapest motorcycle

Last updated on: March 17, 2011 10:53 IST

TVS plans India's cheapest motorcycle

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Sharmistha Mukherjee in New Delhi

TVS Motors is mulling a low-priced motorcycle to shore up volumes in the Indian market.

The product, when introduced, would be the cheapest motorcycle in the country.

With this new product, TVS Motors intends to bridge the price gap between the company's range of mopeds and motorcycles.

"There is room for introducing one more product at the lower end of the motorcycle segment. Our cheapest motorcycle comes for Rs 36,000 while the most expensive moped is tagged Rs 25,000.

"There might be a new product positioned in this range," said H S Goindi, president (marketing).

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Image: TVS Apache.
Photographs: Rajesh Karkera
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TVS plans India's cheapest motorcycle

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He, however, admitted it would be a challenge to make a profitable product in the segment at such aggressive price points.

"The Indian market is demanding, the quality of motorcycles on offer here is very high in terms of finish, engine performance, styling and fuel efficiency. The challenge would be to offer good features at competitive price points," he said.

Industry experts note the 100-110cc segment account for 60 per cent of the nine million motorcycles sold every year and is the mainstay of companies like Hero Honda and TVS Motors.

To launch inexpensive products in the category is, therefore, critical for two-wheeler companies in the country.

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Honda Motor Corporation, which too is working on a low-cost bike priced at around $ 600 for sale in emerging economies, has decided against introducing the product in the Indian market.

Shinji Aoyama, president and chief executive officer, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India had earlier said, "The low-cost bike is not suited for the current requirements in the market here.

At present, we are not considering launching the product in India."

The motorcycle is being developed at the company's research and development centre in China, mainly for markets in Africa.

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Image: Honda and Hero Group recently decided to part.
Photographs: Reuters
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TVS Motors, at present, is working on developing two new motorcycles which are likely to hit the Indian roads in the course of 2011-12.

"We are working on two products. It would take us another eight to nine months to launch these motorcycles commercially in the market", Goindi informed.

He, however, declined to share details about the segments which the products would be launched in.

Additionally, the company is firming plans to re-launch products in the electric scooters segment.

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TVS Motors has developed an electric variant of Scooty Teenz and a new scooter, which are being tested in 50 towns across the country.

Depending on the feedback received a commercial launch would be made in the coming financial year.

TVS Motors, which is the third largest two-wheeler manufacturer in the country, has sold 1.6 million units in the domestic market between April and February this financial year, registering a growth of 31 per cent as compared to the corresponding period the previous year.



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